Department of Defence captured by foreign weapons makers Thales, BAE – Michael West

Defence investigates itself How “independent” or effective a review is it when a department secretly investigates itself and its contractors by appointing an existing contractor to conduct the review, does not make public the review’s existence or its terms of reference, and keeps any resulting report secret?

Defence says the review found “no evidence” of inappropriate excess charges. This is despite three stories the same day in The Weekend Australian containing detailed allegations. So serious were the allegations, they were escalated up to Defence’s assistant secretary of fraud control who reportedly then referred several matters to the Independent Assurance Business Analysis and Reform Branch of Defence. Is Defence saying multiple audit and fraud officials, including at the most senior levels, all got it wrong? Are we being asked to conclude that senior Defence fraud officials cannot accurately identify inappropriate excess charges? It seems there is a serious problem then, no matter which way we look at it.

Department of Defence captured by foreign weapons makers Thales, BAE – Michael West